Kathleen Turner

  1. Sissy Spacek, Carrie, 1976.   
  2. Carrie Fisher, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, 1976.
  3. Brooke Shields, The Blue Lagoon, 1979.     Story goes that she tested as naked shipwrecked victim and failed the audition. Hard to believe considering that within a year, she broke through  in the red hot film noir, Body Heat.
  4. Kim Zimmer, The Doctors, 1979-1882.   Michigan’s Zimmer beat the similarly unknown Turner to the rfole of Nola Dancy Aldrich in the medical soap.  But their story doesn’t end there…  When auteur  Lawrence Kasdan wanted unknowns as the steamy lovers in Body Heat, he chose William Hurt… and Kim.  But her TV producers  only gave her enough time off to play Mary Ann. And so the main (and star-making) role of Matty Walker went to… Turner!
  5. Elizabeth McGovern, Once Upon a Time in America, 1982.   Italian maestro Sergio Leoneclaimed he interviewed “over 3,000 actors,” taping 500 auditions for the 110 speaking roles in his New York gangster epic.  He certainly saw 33 girls for nymphet Deborah Gelly: Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Jennifer Beals, Linda Blair, Glenn Close, Jamie Lee Curtis, Geena Davis, Farrah Fawcett, Carrie Fisher, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Linda Hamilton, Daryl Hannah, Goldie Hawn, Mariel Hemingway, Diane Lane, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Heather Locklear, Kristy McNIchol, Liza Minnelli, Tatum O’Neal, Michelle Pfeiffer, Meg Ryan, Susan Sarandon, Cybill Shepherd, Sissy Spacek, Meryl Streep, Kathleen Turner, Sigourney Weaver, Debra Winger. Plus Brooke Shields as the younger version. Deborah was 15 in the first script; McGovern was 20.
  6. Michelle Pfeiffer, Scarface, 1982.    Too hasty for her own good, she rejectedthe role of Elvira Hancock. But then so did Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Colleen Camp, Glenn Close, Geena Davis, Judy Davis, Carrie Fisher, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kay Lenz, Kelly McGillis,Kristy McNichol, Deborah Raffin, Brooke Shields, Sharon Stone.
  7. Nastassja Kinski,  La lune dans le caniveau (US: The Moon in the Gutter), France-Italy, 1982.      Director Jean-Jacquas Beineix reunited his Diva team. Adjani was suggested but JJB wanted Tess… Casting diector Dominque Besnehard was disappointed because he wanted Turner who tested while in Paris  for the opening of Body Heat. “Hah, ” sneered Toscan de Plantier, the Gaumont boss, “there’s a plethora of films like that pn America.”  (If so, this one would not have been such a hit. Toscan knew more about opera than cinema).  “I hate Beinex! I hate Gaumont!”  But Turner  got on well enough without them.  She had Coppola, Huston, Nicholson… Romancing The Stone,  Prizzi’s Honour, Coppola’s Peggy Sue Got Married, The War of the Roses, etc. 
  8. Daryl Hannah, Splash, 1983.    A mermaid – moi?!   That’s what they  all said, more or less.  Except Debra Winger who longed to be  Madison. (Director Ron Howard did not agree). “They all” were… Rosanna Arquette, Jodie Foster (she was booked into The Hotel New Hampshire), General Hospital soap queen Genie Francis, Melanie Griffith, Diane Lane, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tatum O’Neal, Michelle Pfeiffer, Molly Ringwald, Tanya Roberts (booked for Sheena: Queen of the Jungle), Ally Sheedy, Brooke Shields (studying French Literature at Princeton),  PJ Soles (to be opposite Bill Murray, not Tom Hanks), Sharon Stone, Kathleen Turner and Lisa Whelchel (from The Facts of Life, 1979-1988).  Plus two Brits: Lynne Frederick and Fiona Fullerton. Disney’s new (“adult”) Touchstone unit rushed Splash into production to beat Warren Beatty’s similar “half-human-half-kipper” tail:  Mermaid.

  9. Linda Hamilton, The Terminator, 1983.    
    In all, 55 actresses were considered, seen or tested for Sarah Connor (aged 18; Linda was 27) opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger. James Cameron auteured Sarah for Bridget Fonda. She passed; so did Tatum O’Neal. He decided to go older… and Glenn Close won – her schedule didn’t agree. OK, Kate Capshaw! No, she was tied to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – and Kathleen Turner was Romancing The Stone. Debra Winger won her audition, said yes… then no.   The other 48 ladies were The ’80s Group: Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Christy Brinkley, Colleen Camp, Jamie Lee Curtis, Geena Davis, Judy Davis, Mia Farrow, Carrie Fisher, Jodie Foster, Teri Garr, Jennifer Grey, Melanie Griffith, Darryl Hannah, Barbara Hershey, Anjelica Huston, Amy Irving, Diane Keaton, Margot Kidder, Diane Lane, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kay Lenz, Heather Locklear, Lori Loughlin, Kelly McGillis, Kristy McNichol, Michelle Pfeiffer, Deborah Raffin, Meg Ryan, Susan Sarandon, Ally Sheedy, Cybill Shepherd, Brooke Shields, Sissy Spacek, Sharon Stone, Lea Thompson, Sigourney Weaver… one aerobics queen, Bess Motta (she became Sarah’s room-mate, Ginger Ventura), two singers (Madonna, Liza Minnelli), two Brits (Miranda Richardson, Jane Seymour), five essentially funny girls, Goldie Hawn, Rhea Perlman (Mrs Danny De Vito), Gilda Radner, Mary Tyler Moore… plus the new MTM, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, from Saturday Night Live. Most were in contention again a few years later for Fatal Attraction (won by Close) and The Accused (going to Foster and McGillis). Ten years later (after T2), Linda gave birth to Cameron’s daughter and Josephine’s parents wed in 1997… for two years.

  10. Sharon Stone, King Solomon’s Mines, 1985.     Sharon was cast by mistake!  That’s what her co-star  Richard Chamberlain claimed in the 2014 docu,  Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films. Cannon One, Menahm Golan, wanted “that Stone woman.”  Meaning: that Stone woman – Kathleen Turner, hot off Romancing the Stone. Both films (or all three, as Mines was shot concurrently with its sequel, Allan Quatermain and the City of Gold)  were shamelessly ripping off Raiders of the Lost Ark. Good story, Chamberlain! Except Turner said in her memoirs that she simply passed on the Jesse Huston role. “If the part doesn’t work for me,  I turn it down.” 
  11. Shelley Long, The Money Pit, 1985.       For Cary Grant and Myrna Loy in 1947, read Tom Hanks and Long in the weak re-mix of Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House. Turner used the offer as a ploy to win a better deal for The Jewel of the Nile, 1984. The second Blandings re-hash was Swedish, Drömkåken, 1992; the third was anther Hollywood mess, Are We Done Yet? 2006 ,co-starring  the fourth union of  Ice Cube and Nia Long.…
  12. Kim Greist, Brazil,1985.   Women are Terry Gilliam’s weakest casting points… Ellen Barkin was his favourite for Jill –  “Great sex appeal and toughness.” He also saw Turner, Rosanna Arquette, Rae Dawn Chong, Jamie Lee Curtis, Rebecca De Mornay, Kelly McGillis, Madonna, Michelle Pfeiffer.  Finallly, (blindly?), he  fell for an unknown riddled with so many problems. He kept having to shorten her role andeven resorted to making her wear a bandage for “more personality.”   It was only her second film and she  just wasn’t getting it.” She was so much trouble during a love-scene with Jonathan Pryce that Gilliam strode off the set.  “Kim, do the scene yourself. Let me know when you’ve got it done.  I’m off.”
  13. Glenn Close, Jagged Edge, 1985. Welsh director Richard Marquand felt  the new hot team of  Turner and Michael Douglas – from the previous year’s Romancing The Stone– would be perfect for his thriller.  They did not agree – and only joined forces again for such Christmas treats as The Jewel of the Nile, 1985, and The War of the Roses,1988. Edge was copied by Bollywood.  Twice.
  14. Elisabeth Shue, Adventures in Babysitting, 1986.      Back in the 60s, teenage babysitter Chris Parker was set for Jane Fonda. By the 80s, her logical heir, her niece Bridget, was just not interested. Julia Louis-Dreyfus was signed, followed by Jodie Foster, then it became a battle between Turner (the fourth #1 choice), Justine Bateman, Valerie Bertinelli, Judy Davis, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Andie MacDowell, Kelly McGillis (spurned by director Christopher Columbus), Tatum O’Neal (who simply fled), Michelle Pfeiffer (she preferred The Witches of Eastwick… until she made it!), Brooke Shields and Sharon Stone.
  15. Kim Basinger, 9 1/2 Weeks, 1986.    Obvious thinking. Turner was Hollywood’s latest wet dream. For about an hour.  (Including time for an affair with her Romancing the Stone partner, Michael Douglas).  She fought hard to be Elizabeth.  However, UK director Adrian Lyne also saw Jacqueline Bisset, Teri Garr,Demi Moore, Tatum ONeal, Isabella Rossellini, Dominique Sanda, Sigourney Weaver. And Andie MacDowell who thought the script was borderline sleaze.  Oh, it was way over the border!  As was Turner’s Crimes of Passion, requiring massive censor cuts – well, it was an opus by Ken Russell.
  16. Shelley Long, The Money Pit, 1986.     Steven Spielberg’s offer became a leverage to force Fox into a salary hike for the Romancing The Stone sequel,Jewel of the Nile. Spielberg won, too. Kathleen voiced Roger Rabbit’s sultry misses, Jessica. “I’m not bad. I’m just drawn that way.”
  17. Susan Sarandon, Witches of Eastwick, 1987.     Among the many…
  18. Glenn Close, Fatal Attraction,  1987.
  19. Kelly McGillis, The Accused, 1988.       Paramount suits saw 40 young actresses for the (real life) gang rape victim. Or, their own rape bait fantasies… such as 16-year-old Alyssa Milano! And a further 27 for her lawyer. Including Fatal Attraction also-rans from Geena Davis, Sally Field, Goldie Hawn, Barbara Hershey, Tuesday Weld – to Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep and Debra Winger, who were offered both roles. Plus Turner, Beverly D’Angelo, Blythe Danner,  Carrie Fisher, Teri Garr, Mary Gross, Sigourney Weaver, Dianne Wiest. A 1982 rape victim herself, McGillis refused the lead. She had no wish to revisit the horror and pain of her own assault six years earlier. Obviously. However, she agreed to play Sarah’s defence attorney – on condition that the studio-described “unsexy” Jodie, and no one else, played Sarah! The suits caved, tested Foster and the rest is Oscar history… dated March 29, 1989.
  20. Sigourney Weaver, Working Girl, 1988.  “If you ever want to make money, do Cinderella,” said Mike Nichols. Even better if he’s directing – despite a coke-head  star. (He made Melanie Griffith pay $80,000 from her salary for having to close down shooting one night due to her wasted condition). He saw Anne Archer, Cher, Geena Davis, Shelley Long, Natasha Richardson, Kathleen Turner, Debra Winger for her boss. Plus Michelle Pfeiffer and Meryl Streep for Tess or the wicked witch of Wall Street.

  21. Julia Roberts, Pretty Woman, 1989.
  22. Madonna, Dick Tracy, 1990.       Turner, Kim Basinger, Michelle, Pfeiffer…  actor-producer-director Warren Beatty mentioned them all.  And cowered at their prices. Betweenwhiles, his new trysting partner agreed to become Breathless Mahoney for scale: $1,440 a week. Madonna’s finaltake, however,including points and record sales, was close to $20m.
  23. Kelly Lynch, Curly Sue, 1990.    “That was another movie that started out as one movie and ended up being another movie entirely,” reported Kelly. “But a great experience… like a throwback to one of those Depression-era movies that you’d seen Jean Harlow in.” Kirstie Alley, Jamie Lee Curtis, Geena Davis, Laura Dern, Linda Hamilton (off shooting Terminator 2), Goldie Hawn, Andie MacDowell, Olivia Newton-John, Kathleen Turner, Sigourney Weaver were also suggested for  the cynical Chicago lawyer missed up with a Paper Moon II act: James Belushi and  young Alisan Porter.   Critic Roger Ebert fell for John Hughes’ final film  – “could have been written by Damon Runyon, illustrated by Norman Rockwell and filmed by Frank Capra.”
  24. Geena Davis, Thelma & Louise, 1990.
  25. Michael Douglas, Basic Instinct, 1992.
  26. Sigourney Weaver,1492: Conquest of Paradise, 1991. Director Ridley Scott naturally wanted Sigourney for Queen Isabella I. However, she was a victim of their Alien success, being delayed by re-shoots for Alien 3 at England’s Pinewood Studios.    She finally broke t free – worried, perhaps, by the news of negotiations beginning with Glenn Close, Anjelica Huston, Lena Olin and  Kathleen Turner… while  the film’s star, Gérard Depardieu, was voting for his 1976 René la canne co-star Sylvia Kristel. 
  27. Sandra Bullock, Speed, 1993.       Although sharing the heroics and the driving of the bus-bomb with Keanu Reeves, most girls saw it as The Guy’s film. An amazing 36 refused to be Annie: Turner, Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Halle Berry, Glenn Close (!), Geena Davis, Cameron Diaz, Carrie Fisher, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Daryl Hannah, Mariska Hargitay, Barbara Hershey, Anjelica Huston, Diane Lane, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kay Lenz, Alyssa Milano, Demi Moore, Tatum O’Neal, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Winona Ryder, Jane Seymour, Ally Sheedy, Brooke Shields, Meryl Streep (!), Emma Thompson (!), Meg Tilly, Marisa Tomei, Sigourney Weaver and Debra Winger.
  28. Diane Keaton, Marvin’s Room, 1996.     Angelica Huston, Turner, Sigourney Weaver,they queued to play oppposite Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio and… do battle with Meryl Streep!
  29. Isabelle Huppert, La Pianiste (The Piano Teacher), Austria-France-Germany, 2000.      Before Michael Haneke won the rights, another Austrian – actor-director Paulus Manker – tried to mount  his version of Elfriede Jelinek novel.  With Turner or Helen Mirren.  (Haneke thought they were both too old.  Mirren was 55.  Huppert was 47 – a year older  than Turner, who admittedly,  looked older. 
  30. Melissa McCarthy, The Little Mermaid, 2020.   Turner rejected offers to be the mermaid Ariel’s evil aunt Ursula, in the in  the latest live-action take on a Disney toon.  Lady Gaga was rumoured for the role – which Harvey Fierstein wanted to play in director Rob Marshall’s fourth Disney movie!







 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  30